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Bioidentical Vs Body identical HRT: The Difference

What is the Difference Between Bioidentical and Body identical HRT?

BHRT is a treatment option for people experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance. It involves replacing hormones that have been lost due to aging and other factors. We regularly see and treat hormone conditions using BHRT at The Hormone Clinic. They include perimenopause, menopause, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and postnatal depression in women. In men, we treat testosterone deficiency and male menopause. There are two main types of BHRT: bioidentical and body identical HRT. In the clinic, we prescribe both depending on symptoms and individual choice. Understanding the differences between bioidentical and body identical HRT can help you make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

What is Bioidentical HRT?

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) uses hormones that are chemically identical to those naturally produced by the body. These hormones are derived from plant sources, such as yams or soybeans, and are then processed into a form that can be used in HRT. BHRT is not available on the NHS and is tailor-made by compounding pharmacies in specific doses for the individual. They are available in a great range of doses and preparations. It is therefore not possible to conduct controlled clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of every dose which means they are considered unlicensed and unregulated, However, in order to dispense bioidentical hormones in the UK, compounding pharmacies are strictly regulated and monitored.  This type of treatment has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its perceived safety and effectiveness.

What is Body Identical HRT?

Body identical hormone replacement therapy (BIHRT) also uses hormones identical in structure to those produced in the body and is available on the NHS. They come in set doses, and are produced by large pharmaceutical companies and because they come in defined doses, they can be licensed and regulated.  Body identical hormones have been available since the 1950s and have been used successfully by many women over the years. This type of treatment may be preferred by some women due to its availability. It is also more cost-effective than BHRT because it does not require special processing or ingredients.

Bioidentical vs Body identical HRT

Both Bioidentical and Body identical HRT have advantages and disadvantages when compared with each other. It’s important to weigh all of your options before deciding which type of treatment is best for you.

Advantages of Bioidentical HRT:

Uses natural hormones derived from plants that are chemically identical to those produced by the body.

They are prescribed by a skilled hormone specialist in bespoke doses tailored to the individual.

They come in many different preparations including creams, gels, lozenges, capsules, and pessaries.

Different hormones can be combined into one type of application making it more convenient.

Advantages of Body identical HRT:

Uses hormones with the same chemical structure as those naturally produced by the body.

They are often more cost-effective due to them not requiring special processing or ingredients from plants.

They are readily available on the NHS and can be prescribed by your GP.

Disadvantages of Bioidentical HRT:

They require special processing which can increase the cost.

Disadvantages of Body identical HRT:

They only come in set doses being more of a “one size fits all” approach.

They only come in certain preparations such as capsules, patches, gels, and sprays.


Deciding between bioidentical and body identical hormone replacement therapy can be difficult and understanding the differences between them can help you make an informed decision about which one is right for you. Both types of treatments have their own pros and cons, so it’s important to weigh all your options before making a final decision. Ultimately, it’s up to you and your doctor to decide which type of treatment will best meet your needs and provide relief from your symptoms.

If you are interested in finding out whether bioidentical HRT is right for you book an appointment with The Hormone Clinic and we will provide you with the treatment you need.